Hand Lettering

Hand Lettering Tool Guide


For all my lettering friends out there, I made a list of  tools I use for hand lettering.  I called it a guide because I think there are a lot of good products out there and a lot of different brands that work great.  These tools are not “magic” and will not make your lettering look great automatically.  They do however have what you need to make a great lettering piece.

“These tools are not “magic” and will not make your lettering look great automatically.”

I broke the guide into two sections, sketch and final.  The sketch section shows what I typically use to get my initial idea down on paper, and then what I use to refine it and get it ready to be the final piece. The Final section is items that I only use to make the final product.  I am going to go through the list one by one and tell you how I use each item.

  1. Ruler, I hate measuring, but you have to measure to make your lettering good.  Everything has to be spaced correctly, and its really hard to do that without a ruler. I also use this as a straight edge.
  2. This is a lead holder with lead and a sharpener.  I like using this because you can keep a really sharp point on it, and its really good for refining as well as initial sketching. You can use a normal pencil  as well, you really just need something to sketch with that can erase well later.
  3. Paper, I usually use a couple sheets because if I’m lettering a quote I like to sketch out as many different layout ideas first.  When I pick one I like I will  use another piece of paper. I use just regular copy paper for this, its cheap and I go through it really quickly.  There really isn’t a reason to use more expensive paper on this unless you want that as part of your final look. It can give your lines a different effect because the paper will not be as smooth or will be really smooth, depending on the type of paper.
  4. I like using a brush pen to just write out my quotes to figure out the layout.  You can also use brush pens in your final if you are going for that style.
  5. I use an eraser guard when I am refining my work and trying to get the sketch perfect and ready to do the final lettering.
  6. You need a good eraser, I use a white eraser because it doesn’t leave any marks on my paper.  You could also use a kneaded eraser, which would work really well with the eraser guard.
  7. Music is a must when you start your final, I generally will do the outlines first of all the letters and then I just fill everything in. Good music will make the filling in step more enjoyable.
  8. I generally always use micron pens to do my final, they work really well and are precise and do not bleed.
  9. If you want to add color to your lettering I would suggest Copic markers because they are blendable and they work really well with the micron pens.
  10. Another fun way to add something unique to your piece is by using a metallic pen to give a different effect.


I hope this list helps you with your lettering and if you have anything not on the list that you think should be added let me know! I would love to hear what you use!


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